Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale
Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale
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Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States
Winter Warmer
Ranked #36
Ranked #17,423
3.87 | pDev: 13.7%
Apr 12, 2022
Nov 18, 2001
Very Good
Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale
Notes: Winter Solstice® is our take on the classic style of “winter warmer.” Boasting a deep amber hue and rich mouthfeel, its creamy finish will lift your spirits. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tease the senses making this the perfect ale to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter.
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3.75 by MonkeyPilates from Minnesota on Apr 12, 2022
Photo of trevormajor
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by trevormajor from Ohio

12 oz can, vintage 2021, poured into an Untappd Snifter at 55 degrees F:
L - amber/caramel in color with a light tan head that lingered
S - biscuit, lemon zest
T - sweet and malty, with a mild biscuit flavor
F - medium mouthfeel and carbonation
O - very nice for a winter warmer, not spicy in the traditional way

Mar 14, 2022
3.78 by jason_nwx from Oregon on Feb 28, 2022
4.08 by chrishiker1409 from New York on Feb 12, 2022
Photo of GStone899
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by GStone899 from Minnesota

Pours a deep amber. Very malty and pleasant on the pallet. Dark fruits along with caramel, cinnamon and a slight nutmeg taste tickle the taste buds. Not much head on the pour straight from the can to a pint glass. Really a nice change of pace peer from an IPA and a nice winter brew.

Feb 05, 2022
3.29 by Pens1866 from Pennsylvania on Jan 15, 2022
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by MaltsOfGlory from Oregon

12oz can

Pours a solid finger of dense, creamy tan head into my nitro glass. Retention is average and the head fades within a couple minutes, leaving a nice film. Initial lacing looks great. Body is on the lighter side for a winter warmer - a dark shade of amber, with low visibility. Looks pretty nice so far.

The nose isn’t really up to par with some of the great malty winter beers I’ve been having as of late. There is some caramel, maybe faint bread, but then it just kinda falls off. Some spice and maybe some stone fruit eventually come out. It grows on me a little bit, but I wouldn’t say the depth in malt is sufficient enough for me, at least on the nose.

Flavor surprisingly goes in the other direction, the malt actually might be too much. I would have guessed Maris Otter with this huge malt presence, but the internet says it’s Crystal malt, which would explain the massive presence of dates. Caramel as well. This kinda drinks like fruit cake, and I’m not really about that. I’m spoiled here in the NW where we always use a sufficient amount of hops, regardless of the style, and because of that the winter warmers I’m used to drinking are far more balanced than this. Hops aside, there is more Crystal malt here than most any beer would want or need. All things considered, this is still pretty enjoyable, especially once the palate adjusts, but it’s certainly inferior to other examples.

Carbonation leans towards the lower side, but it’s not flat or under carbed. Pretty full bodied, with a questionable sweetness that is slightly cloying - that crystal is intense. Bitterness is low. Mouthfeel is ok, but it’s definitely a little sweet at times.

Drinkability isn’t bad, but I certainly find myself sipping this due to the aggressive sugar level.

Appearance turned out quite nice. Lacing was pretty good, and the film of foam acted more like a sliver of head the longer and longer it lasted.

Overall a nice beer that I can enjoy, but definitely a little unbalanced, with a slightly cloying sweetness and a huge date flavor that enforces that sweetness.

Jan 13, 2022
3.9 by Gagnonsux from Texas on Dec 26, 2021
Photo of jkblr
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by jkblr from Indiana

12oz can stamped 21 270 (about 3 months old) poured into a tulip glass at fridge temp 6.9% ABV. The beer pours opaque amber in color with khaki head. The head recedes to a thin ring and single layer of bubbles leaving web like lacing. The aroma is mild with toffee and spice. The taste is semisweet toffee and burnt sugar caramel with significant spice impact. Almost like a pumpkinless pumpkin beer. Minimal bitterness with the spices balancing the malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation and a mostly dry finish. Overall, good.

Dec 24, 2021
4 by BrentMcQuirk from Texas on Dec 22, 2021
3.77 by Rainintheface from Massachusetts on Dec 21, 2021
4.35 by Anacross from Oregon on Dec 20, 2021
Photo of Historiker
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by Historiker from Ohio

Poured a pleasant but somewhat hazy amber color with about an inch of quickly dissipating head.

Smell is very nice. Sweet malts, caramel, a hint of toffee, as well as figs and apricot.

Taste follows the nose, but with the addition of just a touch of spice. Thankfully, this isn't a brew that needs spice to cover up inadequacies. The flavor profile is wonderful, and the light presence of seasonal spices is just right.

Mouthfeel is very nice. When Anderson said creamy, they weren't kidding. This beer is a joy to drink. Smooth, creamy, mild carbonation.

Overall, this is a wonderful brew that fits very nicely within the realm of Winter Warmer without trying to be a spiced up Christmas Beer. There are lots of winter brews that I'm happy to drink one of each year. I could get several cans of this one and easily enjoy it all winter long.

Dec 12, 2021
3.75 by KT3418 from Colorado on Dec 02, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by Sigmund from Norway

355 ml bottle, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 6.9%. Brown colour, large off-white head. Nice aroma of malts (including some caramel) and mild spices, including cinnamon. Also some fruity notes (blackcurrants and ripe blackberries). None of the aroma elements are overdone. The flavour is first fruity (hints of blackcurrants and blackberries again) and malty with some caramel, but not too sweet. The Christmas spices come through more distinctly, but not sharp. The bittering hops are very moderate (too moderate for my taste), probably making the beer palatable for people who don’t fancy AVBC’s hoppier beers. Easy drinking, and does not taste as strong as it is.

May 03, 2021
Photo of HipCzech
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by HipCzech from Texas

Serving: 12 oz can poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Deep, clear, medium amber with a proud head of off white bubbles and full, intricate.

Smell: Vanilla, burnt sugar and toasted bread.

Taste: Roasted marshmallows, caramel and winter spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove) round out a toasted malt body.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, rich feel and moderate carbonation.

Overall: A rich and malty ale with burnt sugar and roasted malt notes that hint of s’mores.

Dec 25, 2020
3.96 by shreead from Pennsylvania on Dec 09, 2020
3.9 by avisong from Virginia on Dec 05, 2020
3.94 by TheCakePounder from Pennsylvania on Nov 27, 2020
Photo of stevoj
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by stevoj from Idaho

12oz can from Boise Coop. Well out of season but this is one I've been looking for. Light amber pour, medium foamy head. Toasty caramel aroma with a hint of chai spice. Taste is more caramel, some light leathery and tobacco notes, and finishes with a bit of dryness. Not overly "winter-y", just a solid malty brew.

Jun 06, 2020
3.92 by Jjl329 from California on Mar 14, 2020
4.1 by Corkykab from New Jersey on Mar 02, 2020
3.75 by StrangerTides from New York on Feb 05, 2020
Photo of janubio
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by janubio from Spain

Bottle at Las Buenas Pulgas, served in an Anderson Valley glass.
Pours amber-reddish colour, medium head and retention, creamy lacing.
Aroma of caramel, berries, figs, dried fruits.
Medium body, creamy texture, good carbonation. Sweet finish.
Taste of caramel, dried fruits, malts, berries, dates, figs.
Very good. ,

Jan 29, 2020
Photo of jmc65267
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by jmc65267 from Georgia

It was fine. I think I went in with too high of expectations. I got it in a mix and match six pack and it is still a good selection but I wouldn’t get it on purpose.

Jan 18, 2020
Photo of LifesAnesthesia
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

L - Amber with a slight amount of clarity with a creamy light tan head that sticks around leaving behind some lacing.
S - Tons of winter spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves as well as caramel and toffee.
T - Follows the nose with a solid amount of winter spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom along with caramel, toffee, toasted malt, vanilla.
F - Medium bodied with a light to moderate amount of carbonation - somewhat watery on the very back end
O - A really nice winter warmer -

Jan 12, 2020
3.92 by Trueprinceofgotham from California on Dec 26, 2019
3.91 by Cuervo_PCB from Florida on Dec 22, 2019
3.5 by VTbrewfan from Massachusetts on Dec 21, 2019
Photo of JayDubTrub
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by JayDubTrub from California

Really enjoyed this (2019). The aroma is the highlight - Carmel, vanilla, spice, toffee and enough alcohol for backbone. If you want to taste all the flavors in a barley wine often buried by booze, enjoy this lower abv by Avbc.

Dec 19, 2019
Photo of takusan1000
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75
by takusan1000 from Washington

Tastes rather artificial to me

Dec 17, 2019
Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by HorseheadsHophead from Colorado

Clear amber appearance, with a small beige head. Good retention and lacing.

The smell is sweet malt and subtle spices. Brown sugar, vanilla, brown bread, cola, maybe some ginger?

Nice sweet brown bread malt, molasses, vanilla, ginger, and cardamom. Clean, slightly spicy and piney, with a brown sugar lingering sweetness.

Medium mouthfeel, moderately carbonated, clean but slightly sticky with lingering residual sweetness.

A nice Winter Warmer. Rich and bready--lightly spiced--but very drinkable.

Dec 08, 2019
Photo of EnderFett11
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by EnderFett11 from Virginia

Poured from a can into a pilsner glass, resulting in a ton of frothy off-white head that took a few minutes to fade. Color is a deep amber, slightly hazy. Smell is caramel with a bit of vanilla. Taste is caramel first with a bit of vanilla, followed by a spice at the end, maybe cinnamon/nutmeg. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Excellent winter ale.

Nov 28, 2019
Photo of Ruger_44-Redhawk
4.71/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by Ruger_44-Redhawk from Idaho

This has always been a favorite of mine along with it’s Summer Solstice brother. What can I say, a great winter ale. Drinking in Florida on Thanksgiving week. But been drinking this for years. Taste is vanilla and spice awesomeness all the way. Always get this if you see it!

Nov 28, 2019
4.29 by jmbeerdude91 from Arizona on Nov 05, 2019
3.8 by bschmidt_37 from Illinois on Nov 02, 2019
3.5 by bdlusa from Texas on Jun 26, 2019
4.06 by Dave1999 from North Carolina on Apr 28, 2019
3.25 by Bryan12345 from Texas on Apr 22, 2019
3.38 by lrend13 from Wisconsin on Mar 14, 2019
Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 1907 ratings